Plant Name        Chlorophytum tuberosum(Roxb.) Baker               

                Common name:              

                Marathi: Kuli     

                Hindi: Safed-musli         

                English: Edible Chlorophytum   




Identification guide


Chlorophytum tuberosum is a herb usually growing up to 20–50 cm tall. Its underground parts comprise a short rhizome, often surrounded by fibres, which bears swollen roots with dark tubers to up 7 cm long at their tips.

Root tubers

 fleshy, fascicled and directly originate from the stem disc devoid of any fibrous structure. The shape of tubers is cylindrical, the thickness is average 0.9 cm and the length 8cm.The number of tubers varies from plant to plant and on an average 5-30 tubers per plant are observed and slightly tapering towards lower side look like pestle. Due to its extensive use, it is naturally an endangered plant.


The leaves are borne in a rosette and are linear-lanceolate, 10–50 cm long and 1–3 cm wide.


The flowers are borne in a simple raceme with two flowers at each node. The flowers are large, white, showy and sweetly-scented and there is no differentiation between the petals and sepals (hence known as tepals). C. tuberosum is the only species within the genus which has tepals that are more than seven-veined (they are 10–14-veined). The stamens are shorter than the tepals.


The fruits are three-edged capsules containing seeds 2 mm in diameter.


Habit / Habitat

Chlorophytum tuberosum is a herb usually growing up to 20–50 cm tall. Its underground parts comprise a short rhizome, often surrounded by fibres, which bears swollen roots with dark tubers to up 7 cm long at their tips.      



Chlorophytum tuberosum is widespread from Nigeria to Eastern Tropical Africa. It is also found across central and southern India to Myanmar.


Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Eritrea; Ethiopia; India; Kenya; Myanmar; Nepal; Nigeria; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda"  


Edible parts

World wide use:              Tuberous root or rhizome


Method of consumption

Medicinal use

Strengthens immunity – In asthma patients it boosts the energy. Roots are used for strengthening the body’s immune system.

Pregnancy – The herb is used as nutritive tonic for fetus and mother both. The herb replenishes the fluids of body during parturition.

Obesity – It controls and prevents obesity. It also helps in prevention of side-effects related to obesity.

Diabetes – The herb is an effective cure for arthritis and diabetes.

Leucorrhea – The herb is used in treatment of chronic leucorrhea and prevents premature ejaculation.

Consumption of this herb increases HDL (or production of good cholesterol).

Regular intake of the herb reduces hepatic lipid profiles and plasma.


Nutritional and medicinal information

Safed Musli has very good Ayurvedic medicinal use. It is rich source of over 25 alkaloids, vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, steroid, seponins and polysaccharides etc. A number of Health tonics (Sexual tonics) are prepared from Safed Musli.

Used for Sexual weakness, low libido, low sperm count etc. It is also found to be effective as a energetic one in cases of cough and asthma. Primarily used as a tonic and rejuvenative for the reproductive system. For premature ejaculation, impotence, low sperm count in men. Also used in chronic leucorrhoea. Useful during pregnancy as a nutritive tonic for mother and fetus. Post-partum it replenishes lost fluids, prana, ojas and improves the quantity and flow of breast milk.


Harvesting and preserving

The wild collection of Chlorophytum tuberosum in Africa is likely to be minimal, and therefore not considered to be a threat there. However, C. tuberosum is collected from the wild in India, where it is heavily used, and not cultivated, so that over-harvesting could affect wild populations there. Consequently, it is increasingly considered as ‘rare’ in India. Chlorophytum roots are usually collected before plants have reached maturity, thus hampering natural regeneration.                


Other uses

Chlorophytum tuberosum is cultivated as an ornamental for its large, showy flowers. Its leaves and roots are edible. In India the roots are dried and used as a popular tonic and aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic medicine. In northern Nigeria its tubers are crushed to produce a lotion used to treat guinea-worm.


It increases the lactation in the feeding mothers.

It is useful in treatment of problem of white discharge.

It cures knee pains within a week if taken daily with milk.

It is herbal and has no proven side effects when taken in recommended doses.

It promotes balance or homeostasis.

It increases alertness, mental ability, intelligence and sexual characters.

It checks veganism’s and vaginal dryness.

It cures intestinal inflammation caused by dysentery and other reasons.

It is cooling, sweet and unctuous and reduce high Pitta inside the body. Pitta aggravation is responsible for bleeding disorders, acidity and burning sensation in body.

It softens the stools and helps in constipation and piles.

It has diuretic action and gives relief in painful urination and bad odour of urine.

It pacifies Vata and thus helps in Vata Rog such as rheumatism, joint pain etc.

It has anabolic effect on body and helps in weight gain and development of body muscles. It can be taken as body building supplement."   



Kingdom:              Plantae

Division:              Spermatophyta

Sub-division:        Angiospermae

Class:                    Monocotyledonae

Series:                   Coronariae

Family:                    Liliaceae

Genus :                  Chlorophytum

 Species :               tuberosum         




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